Castle Doctorine & Deadly Force or "Please Don't Shoot Me On Duty!"

This is a discussion on Castle Doctorine & Deadly Force or "Please Don't Shoot Me On Duty!" within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This is a very interesting topic that presents some hard choices for both any plain-clothes LEO (Is that the home owner or the bad guy?) ...

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Thread: Castle Doctorine & Deadly Force or "Please Don't Shoot Me On Duty!"

  1. #31
    Senior Member Array TonyW's Avatar
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    This is a very interesting topic that presents some hard choices for both any plain-clothes LEO (Is that the home owner or the bad guy?) and the home owner him/herself. A couple of comments that I am probably not qualified to make, but here I go anyway.

    So I would back the whole thing up to should you be running around in your PJs clearing your house? My answer is no it's a bad idea. Notice I didn't say you couldn't or cannot. Unless you have trained to clear buildings, you are giving up a huge advantage you have over any potential BG who has entered your house. Your best bet is to stay put and not clear. Now some would say they have kids they need to protect. Fine, make the kids room your spot where you will hole up and wait. Put a mobile in that room on a charger.
    This may work in your home, but unfortunately wouldn't in mine. I have two children and my mother-in-law living with me. The master bedroom is on one side of the house the other three bedrooms are on the other side. I would have to at least move through the house, clearing the rooms as I went to make sure that those people that depend on me were not being assaulted. I will not just sit in my bedroom relatively safe and hope any bad guys are not killing my family or worse.

    If the person claimed to be a police officer I would order them to put down their weapon. If they refused to do so, which I can understand an LEO not wanting to do, then they would have to keep their hands and weapons somewhere other then in a threatening direction and leave my house. While I don't want to be in the house with a BG, neither do I want to be in the house with an armed, ID-unconfirmed person. The caveat to this is that the wife should be on the phone with 911 and hopefully they can confirm the LEO's ID. (But how can you even do that? Can the 911 operator give an accurate description of every officer that may be in my home? Simply saying that yes there is a cop in my house doesn't cut it as this guy could still be the bad guy.)

    The Castle Doctrine is very important as a legal, honest citizen shouldn't be forced to flee (especially their home) in the face of aggression by some goblin. However, it doesn't give you the right to blaze away at anyone in your home. Or at least it doesn't relieve you of the responsibility for following the rules of gun handling, i.e. always be sure of your target!

    At least that's how I see it...
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  3. #32
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Here in Norfolk, VA, last month, a uniformed K9 LEO shot a plainclothes officer 6 times in the "back" after repeated orders to "Drop the gun" while in the proximity of other LEOs. So UC LEO shooting s do occur, and it is not always the "citizen" responsible. The shooter was cleared of blame by the state police, but I doubt a citizen would have been cleared.

    Bottom line, UC LEOs know they are walking a thin line, why would they put themselves in more danger. Back off and call for help. The final rule, after all, is to go home safely at the end of your shift.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

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  4. #33
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    IMHO this is not an LE against " the keep " thread , It is a call for common sense , ID your tagrget before you shoot it , If something don't add up , take time to do the math so to speak before you shoot anyone/thing . Officers lack enough PROPER training on high stress training , and we as ccw honestly have almost zero on it . ****** think it thro , my home may be my castle , but the fella i shoot could well be lancalot coming home drunk with his skank ... Who i shoot is up to me .. Personaly i am not a fan of movies , so if i can create cover ( for me ) , and a dialog i am happy right there if its a cop fine , if its not fine , either way its handled the same way and seeing a shape/shoot isnt in there for me .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  5. #34
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    This has really been interesting...................


    Part of my home defense consists of dogs, BIG dogs. They aren't going to let the BG or LEO in without a big fight! That will help me get my act together & prepare to repel borders.

    For the LEOs out there:

    How are you going to react to the dogs?

    If you enter a dwelling which has animal protection, what is going to be your reaction?

    Are you going to retreat or try to neutralize the animals?

    I would hope you would retreat. Since the alternative, which will be considered hostile, will bring down my ill will & outside of God Himself, this homeowner's wrath is GREAT.....it will not be a fun time for either party.
    Last edited by goawayfarm; August 7th, 2006 at 05:27 PM.
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith

    "An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper

  6. #35
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    If not serving a warrent , big dogs make me leave and write a report ( i can make a case if they came at me the would anyone else so to speak ) and walk away to the next call . If i am serving a warrent , then they get treated as any other hostile .. and damm i hate to shoot dogs .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Repairs
    If not serving a warrent , big dogs make me leave and write a report ( i can make a case if they came at me the would anyone else so to speak ) and walk away to the next call . If i am serving a warrent , then they get treated as any other hostile .. and damm i hate to shoot dogs .

    IF a LEO comes to my home to serve a warrant, HE'S AT THE WRONG ADDRESS. So, be sure of your address before serving.
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith

    "An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper

  8. #37
    Member Array cray's Avatar
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    Rough thread; I agree Mark, it's a problem. But, I tend to fall on the side that the LEO has at least as much responsibility for his/her own life as I do. In Oklahoma, the LEOs here KNOW that nearly any home they enter, even those in upscale parts of town, will likely have a firearm .. it's just part of the culture. And, by virtue of them making the decision to enter, now THEY are respnsible for the safety of my family as well. They don't know where my children sleep, they don't know that my 19 year old son is bigger than me, etc.

    Maybe incorrectly, but I compare it to chases with vehicles. Many departments move away from those, except under extenuating circumstances due to the dangers it brings to innocent to citizens (NOT THAT I AGREE WITH THAT BTW, it's just an observation that may be relevant).

    With a bit of luck, I'd have been as vigilent when the BG entered, as when the LEO entered, and the LEO could do the paperwork ... but, adrenalin does funny things ...

    The SYG Law, as written in OK is pretty clear .. it says that when I am in my home, and someone enters my home uninvited, armed or not, the state ASSUMES me to be in fear of my life. In other words, it takes the burden off of me to prove in court that I feared for my life.

    That said, I decided long ago, that as long as my family is safe, I'm not willing to shoot a kid stealing stereo equipment or anyone else for that matter, who doesn't threaten us. But, I will be talking to them from behind a barricade with front site on COM ... if the unidentified individual does NOT POINT his gun at me, all will be fine (I think). If he points his gun, .. then what choice do I have? A pointed firearm is a life threatening assault, no matter who you are or what state you're in. These types of situations don't readily lend themselves to a credential check. I damn sure ain't going over there, and he damn sure ain't coming to where I'm standing. Breaking wood, shattering glass, a shadow running down the hall .. no .. this type of fight will likely be over before you get to the second 1 in 9-1-1.

    If I see a badge, or even if he says he's LEO, then I'll wait .... but .. I'm afraid I won't be able to do that if he points a firearm at me. Anyone who has ever been a situation even remotely like this, KNOWS that auditory exclusion and tunnel vision are not "theories" .. they're a fact of life, and more so for folks who aren't used to the extreme stress that goes with a situation like this.

    I am sensitive to your concerns; they are mine as well; my Dad was a State LEO for 20+ years, and I grew up with cops' kids. As you know, LEOs tend to hang together, and we all did. And, I still respect and support local LE to this day .. but as I said earlier in the post, when he/she enters any home unannounced/uninvited, then he must assume some responsibility for what happens to both him and the innocent bystanders inside. And I am ALWAYS responsibile for the defense of my home (the state is pretty clear that LEOs are NOT). Yes, if I pull the trigger, I have to live with what I did, and being found innocent would in no way make me feel better ... but ... well, ...

    Answer something for me Mark .. or any LEOs who may be weighing in on this thread ... the thread asks how I'd handle it, and hopes I would err on the side of their safty. How would an LEO feel if one of their bullets hit one of my kids as he "shot it out with a BG in my house" without knowing all the backstops?

    I'm not being an A** .. I know the answer. Most cops I know would rather shoot themslves than an innocent. But, the only person in my home at the time the LEO enters, who is NOT concerned about the safety of everyone else, is the BG... and as far as I'm concerned, he's my responsibility.

    Please don't take the post as a negative shot toward LE; you can't believe how much it bothers me. I vividly remember wondering what my Dad was doing when he worked graveyards, and praying he'd be in his bed when I woke up the next morning.

    I'm simply thinking out loud, and will check each post to see what ideas others come up with. I'm thinking that training is about the only thing that'll even give a margin of safety ... and it'll be a slim margin at that.

  9. #38
    Ex Member Array Maveri9720's Avatar
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    I'll weigh in again, if I may.

    As of now, our bedroom door stays open, b/c we have two big guard dogs that sleep in the same room. My wife and I have no children and consider our dogs as our "kids". Now I know alot of people won't agree with this and even some people with pets may not agree with this, but there are some people out there that consider their pets part of their family and they will know where I am coming from.

    This has to do with staying in my bedroom and waiting for the police to show up if someone were to break in. The reason our door stays open, is so the dogs can alert us to anything that might happen in the house that we may not hear and so we can hear the doorbell or someone pounding on our door late at night.

    If they hear someone breaking in, they will start barking and go downstairs to see what's going on. With the way I feel about my dogs, there is no way in the world that I would close and lock the bdr door and leave them to fend for themselves. They are going down to protect my wife and I from harm and for me to turn around and lock them out is unthinkable in my book.

    Now maybe if I didn't have dogs, I could see keeping the door closed and locked and in which case, I would stay in the room and call 911 and have my weapons pointed at the bdr door and wait and see if the BG would try to break in or not. But since I do have dogs, I need to protect them, just as I would my own children, especially since they are putting themselves in harms way to protect my wife and I.

    I'm not some macho guy, who wants to go room to room clearing his house and doing combat rolls. I want to protect my family and in my case, that includes my dogs, b/c I know they would die for us and it is my job to do everything I can to protect them. And I don't think I would have to clear any rooms, just follow the barking and I will find my BG.

    Just wanted to provide some more info as to why I would want to go downstairs and check out my situation, as opposed to staying in a safe place and waiting for police to arrive.

  10. #39
    Member Array Blackhawk6's Avatar
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    I was following the flashlight debate before the thread was closed and I have been reading this one. I am dumbfounded about the amount of debate on the subject.

    I know that it is very much in-vogue these days to be a rule-breaker, but the four rules still apply. Specifically #4: Be sure of your target, backstop and beyond. How you choose to do it in low-light, in or out of your home, is your business, but you still have the responsibility. Designating your home as a free-fire area after 10 PM doesn't cut it.

    As to the various state's Castle Doctrines. All unwelcome, nocturnal visitors are not created equal. There is a big difference between your neighbor's teenager who broke in to steal your DVD player and a naked man, high on meth, with a butcher knife standing in your living room. Just because you can shoot someone does not mean you should shoot someone. My firearms are used to protect me or my family from those who threaten us with death or grave bodily injury, not to protect my Sony.

    With regard to the police. A number of people have mentioned alarm systems and, presumably, some of the are monitored. If you expect the "cavalry" to come running when someone violates the sanctity of your home, you should at leaast have the decency to ensure you act in a manner that does not jeopardize the responding officer(s). That would include positively identifying an individual as a threat prior to shooting him. You should also ensure your contact information is up to date.

    As to the undercover LEO. I am as pro-law enforcement as they come and I realize there are a number of legitimate reasons for an officer not to be in uniform. In my opinion, if you want to be recogized as a law enforcement officer, you need to be in uniform. A "POLICE" T-shirt and a badge on a chain around your neck and a pair of jeans or BDU pants does not cut it.

    Mark, in your second scenario, I probably would have shot your friend. A big, burly biker with a gun in the living room...come on. Who isn't going to consider that a threat. I would have lit him up (with my flashlight), said "Yep, a big biker with a gun," and applied pressure to the trigger. It is an unfortunate set of circumstances that caused him to be in my home dressed as he was, but he meets the criteria of someone who poses a threat to me and my family. I think any reasonable person would see it the same way.

  11. #40
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    IF a LEO comes to my home to serve a warrant, HE'S AT THE WRONG ADDRESS. So, be sure of your address before serving.
    Normaly any LE is shure of the address as it appears on the paperwork . You have to pause and realise that the affiant of the warrent normaly does not do service , mistakes can and do happen , I am not makeing excuses i am recognising facts .
    none the less if its a cop involved they will be " idin " themselves often and loud , all i am trying to say is maby at night in your own house ( just like the rest of life ) shoot should not be the first thing in mind , as a homeowner you know the ground , you know the cover , use it and just what is the problem with a brief dialog with anyone , if he runs you protected your family anyhow , if he says he is a cop and dont run ... find out ... just dont shoot shadows that are out of place ..
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  12. #41
    Senior Member Array gregarat's Avatar
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    Dang, Redneck Repair just beat me to the punch.


    This is more than food for thought, This is a meal for Dimond Jim!! I have thought about this before. I gota to some hard thinking, and discus with some folks before Im ready to comment....

  13. #42
    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maveri9720
    I'll weigh in again, if I may.

    As of now, our bedroom door stays open, b/c we have two big guard dogs that sleep in the same room.

    SNIP


    Just wanted to provide some more info as to why I would want to go downstairs and check out my situation, as opposed to staying in a safe place and waiting for police to arrive.

    I think this is very well said and it's also where I come from. I also realize some will not agree and like I said in my first post, you gotta do what's right by you. Personally, I'm there with my family be it two-legged or four.

  14. #43
    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    Just think! All of this was started over a freggin light............


    Ti.

    By the way, I I.D. my targets, with a light (if needed) I will not shoot first and ask questions later, saying "Oh Well" you were in the wrong house dude, so be it. You/we are responsible for every acting we take. Remember for every action there is a reaction.
    Train and train hard, you might not get a second chance to make a first impression!

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  15. #44
    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    Not to sound rude or bruise anybody's egos, but if LEOs are "storming" a house for a warrant service and you come running out with a gun on you, then even attempt to point it, you will be smoked. Hands down. Warrant services are not taken lightly, even if it was the wrong house.

    They have the upper hand for a reason. They "storm" the house and attempt to clear it in seconds for a reason. Any threat that "pops" out at them is not going to be delayed to get ID'd if you even so much as attempt to point your weapon at them, you're gone. It would be an unfortunate incident, and has happened before, but no matter how much you're trained in, LEOs are trained in swift warrant services and literally have the upper-hand in manpower and surprise.

    Putting that aside, I would hope that a LEO would move their sights off of you if you confronted them in your house. (I know some LEOs that would more-than-likely not, but that's beside the point.) I would also hope that this would give an indication to you and the opportunity to talk a little to ID instead of hastily firing.

    The best that I can come up with for a way to verify would be to have 9-1-1 on the line and ask the LEO for their badge number, then ask the dispatcher for their first name or last name. Once you get that ask the LEO for their first/last name (depending on which one you got), if it matches, great. If not, well, that's your PC that the guy is not an LEO. This test assumes that you have time to ask, but it also allows you to positively ID a LEO if the dispatcher is not aware of the LEO's whereabouts (we can always verify a badge number).

    Cheers.

  16. #45
    Member Array kikr's Avatar
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    First off, I am a strong supporter of the castle doctrine, I feel that it is my obligation to protect my family to the fullest extent and should not have to place myself or my family in further jeopardy. Second, te castle doctrine does not read as shoot first and ask questions later. Tactics are still required, target identification is still required, and verbalization is still necessary. My sister and mother have always had keys to the house (when we lived in the same state) and were prone to showing up at odd hours. I have a five year old living in my house, whose prone to wanting a glass of chocolate milk at 3am and murphy really likes to press my buttons. As with any confrontation, vocalization is important. On the street, I tell the bad guys "back" as I'm hitting them and "down" and I'm putting them in a wrist lock. I also verbalize the same commands with the use of weapon. My "what if" answer to police response to a shooting in my house is to stay behind cover and shout "dont shoot, watch him" as they enter. I'm not going to just open fire on a form in the shadows without ordering them to halt, and raise their hands, but...any action other than those commanded with clear, concise instructions will result in repeated pulls of my trigger. My hope is that an LEO will have the training, and intelligence to reply in kind to my instructions if he's in my hand for legitimate buisness.
    We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
    George Orwell

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